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Gene Fax – How World War I Transformed the American Jewish Community

November 4, 2018 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm EST

at Congregation Beth El Atereth Israel (Watch Party*)


Before World War I, most Americans saw Jews as an alien population.  Gene Fax’s talk describes the Jewish transformation from “immigrants” to “Americans”, showing how America’s participation in World War I led to Jews being integrated into American life, becoming one of the many co-equal ethnic and religious groups. It also explains how the War began the destruction of Eastern European Jewry decades before the Holocaust.

Gene FaxGene Fax has researched the Jewish experience in World War I extensively. His book With Their Bare Hands was inspired by his grandfather, who fought in the war.  He combed through the archives and found the very trench where his grandfather stood in 1918. You can With Their Bare Hands - Gene Faxlearn more at genefaxauthor.com.




Spotlight Talk 
following main program
Harry Penn – My Childhood in Wartime Lithuania: Life-long Impacts of Surviving the Holocaust

Harry Penn’s presentation retells his memories of the terrors of his childhood in Lithuania and the lasting reverberations throughout his life.  He was born in Kaunas in 1939, two years before the Germans invaded.  His parents had their professional careers taken away, and his family was sent to the Kovno Ghetto, marked for destruction. Harry  survived and immigrated to the United States after the war.
Harry Penn is a Holocaust survivor who was born in Lithuania and lived through the terrors of German occupation. He immigrated to New York and is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.  He is a psychoanalyst, now retired, and is learning Hebrew late in life.

There will be an optional Buffet Lunch (catered kosher) at 12 Noon for $20.  Advance reservations for the lunch are required and must be purchased online by October 30.  Lunch cannot be purchased at the event.

Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings

Pre-lecture: 12:30 pm – 1:20 pm
Poland SIG

Post-lecture (approx. 3:30 pm)
Bessarabia, Litvak and Sephardi SIGs

Admission is free for members, $5 for non-members. Refreshments will be served.


November 4, 2018
1:30 pm - 4:30 pm EST
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at Congregation Beth El Atereth Israel (Watch Party*)
561 Ward Street
Newton Centre, MA United States
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